Ten Technologies: A Brief Look at Military Evolution — Explosive Ordinance Disposal Equipment

By Carla Voorhees,
Defense Media Activity

This is the ninth in a series of 10 technologies integral to the United States military since World War I.

Air Force Airman 1st Class Anthony Sennhenn, EOD technician, 506th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron, unloads “Vanessa,” a remote-controlled F6-A EOD bomb disarming robot for use in disarming an improvised explosive device found near a road used by American forces. (Photo by US Army Sgt. Matthew Acosta)

The origins of the U.S. Navy’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) Division can be traced back to World War II when they were used to counter the complex weapons systems deployed by other nations. Today, this center adds Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) to the range of threats EOD technicians respond to around the world.

Multi-disciplinary teams consisting of electrical engineers, intelligence specialists, physicists, chemist, and information technology experts work together to conduct research. They also develop tools to reverse-engineer existing ordnance, and develop ways to render them safe, and develop new technologies to counter emerging threats.

Today’s technicians use sophisticated robots, virtual reality, and advanced technologies to train for, and perform, the mission at hand. Picatinny Arsenal contributes to this field with a number of improvements to the traditional EOD robot, such as the Wide Angle Robotic Vehicle Vision System, which increases the ability of the EOD technician to navigate the robot through the terrain safely.

Additionally, Picatinny Arsenal developed the Robotic Vehicle Trainer, a realistic video game that simulates combat environments and allows the EOD technician to practice on the same controls as actual robots.


About Julie Weckerlein

Julie Weckerlein is no stranger to the blogosphere. As a personal and professional blogger for the past 10 years, she further contributes to the internet as a web content manager for the Department of Defense. She's also an Air Force Reserve public affairs non-commissioned officer after a nine-year active duty career with assignments in Germany, Italy and the Pentagon, and a deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan as a combat correspondent for the Air Force News Service. Her affinity for science media started with her first magazine subscription to Ranger Rick at age 9 and she's never lost her excitement for the cool things happening in the world of science.
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